Meet The Makers: TREBENE

Images courtesy of Trebene. Copyright to Trebene.

 

BOLD & TALENTED ENTREPRENEUR BUSHERA BASHIR HAS TURNED HER ROOTS INTO A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS.

By Kudi Maradzika

In celebration of victory in war, Napoleon Bonaparte liked showering Empress Josephine his wife with expensive gifts, notably cashmere scarves, all to express his undying love. Sweet!

Who says power hungry tyrants don’t have a romantic streak? 

Josephine Bonaparte was to kashmir scarves what Imelda Marcos was to shoes - a ferocious collector, an appetite that soon spread to women all over the world. Fast forward 200 years later and cashmere-anything has turned into a coveted modern-day style must-have for the fashionable and trendy. 

However, high quality cashmere goods are priced out of reach for most consumers or in most cases, it has simply become too hard to distinguish the authentic from the fakes that flood the market.  

This maybe the only case where imitation is the most unwelcome form of flattery.

Enter Bushera Bashir, founder of TREBENE scarves. TREBENE is an ethical luxury label of scarves handcrafted in Kashmir. Woven from Cashmere wool sourced from indigenous Changtangi goats, the label combines the rich heritage of traditional Kashmiri textile production with contemporary, modern and chic designs inspired by Bushera’s travels around the globe. 

Bushera’s inspiration for TREBENE comes from everywhere and anywhere; from rock patterns she could see whilst hiking the trails of Mount Sinai, to the vibrant colour of the water in Indonesia’s Lake Toba, to the movement and colours of wildebeest migrating at dusk, Bushera embraces the globe as her home and her palate of inspiration, staying as Kashmiri at heart. 

 

Bushera (left) draws her inspiration from her childhood and travels. Images courtesy of TREBENE. Copyright TREBENE.

Hey Kudisco! caught up with Bushera recently before the launch of her brand new collection 'Wanderlust', to find out where she draws her inspiration and just how one creates a modern luxury brand from scratch using one of the world’s most coveted fabrics.

Q. What about your childhood do you remember and how did these formative years serve as the inspiration for the design, manufacture and process for TREBENE scarves?

A:   My childhood was spent in the beautiful valley of Kashmir surrounded by the majestic mountains. I recall daily adventures to the lake with my friends and cousins. I recall the breath-taking spring blossoms, first snowfall, and crimson colours of the autumn and the reflection of houseboats in the lake near my parent’s house.

I recall visiting the Sufi shrines as often as I recall going to church in my school (convent run by Irish nuns). I also remember frequently visiting the homes of various handcrafting artisans – from needle work artisans to wood carvers, papier-mâché artisans and being fascinated by the odyssey of a hand crafted object. For me there is magic, mystery and utmost joy in using your hands to create objects that beautifully represent you, your craft and your culture.

 

"KASHMIR WAS ON THE FAMOUS ANCIENT TRADING AND COMMERCE ROUTE KNOWN AS THE SILK ROAD SO, ITS CULTURE IS A MYSTICAL SYMPHONY OF ANCIENT CULTURES..."

 

Q: There is a rich artisanal history in Kashmir, tell us how this came about historically and why you feel this makes Kashmir so culturally unique.

A: Kashmir was on the famous ancient trading and commerce route known as the Silk Route. So, its culture is a mystical symphony of ancient cultures from Central Asia, China, India and Kashmir in itself. This is reflected in most, if not all, aspects of culture right from food, music, language, and religion to ancient crafts that have been perfected over generations in Kashmir. I think it’s one of the few places of the world that has more of the sacred ancient ethos in its culture than of the modern new world.

Q: Do you consider TREBENE a ‘global brand’ and if so why / why not?

A: Of course! We’re already present in four markets: UK, Netherlands, Monaco and South Africa. The intention has always been to establish TREBENE as a global brand – it’s taking Kashmir to the world and bringing the world to Kashmir.

Q: Tell us more about how the brand has impacted the education of young children.

A: The brand engages with the weavers on the principles of fair trade. Additionally, it channels some of its profits into the education of weaver’s children. We’re in the process of setting up an education fund to sponsor kids of the weavers.

Q: Any plans for your next collection in terms of the inspiration?

A: Next collection is exciting! We’ll be going into production with it very soon. Stay tuned for more details!

To find out where you can buy a gorgeous TREBENE scarf go to:

www.trebene.com

Hey Kudisco!